December 15, 2020

Real Estate Editor

Rendering by GGLO [enlarge]

Via7 will be the second large new affordable housing project near the light rail station, after Inland Group’s Polaris at Rainier Beach.

Mt. Baker Housing and GGLO are planning a midrise, 221-unit affordable housing project at 8600 Rainier Ave. S. The Via7 apartments will also include almost 11,000 square feet for Rainier Valley Food Bank, including offices.

The irregular corner site, at South Cloverdale Place, is now home to New Star Mini Mart, which will eventually be removed. (No demolition permit application has yet been filed.) It’s about a 14-minute walk west to Rainier Beach Station. Mt. Baker Housing assembled the nearly 1-acre site in 2018 for about $4.2 million.

The team also includes Exxel Pacific, general contractor; KPFF, civil engineer; PCS, structural engineer; Glumac, MEP engineer; Terracon, shoring; Geotech Consultants; Core Design, surveyor; and Morrison Hershfield, envelope. GGLO is also designing the interiors, landscape architecture and interiors for the food bank.

The site slopes down to the east, facing the baseball diamonds for Rainier Beach High School. Via 7 will rise eight stories above that lower level, and six above Rainier. A sixth floor terrace will also overlook the ballfields.

Units will run from studios to three-bedrooms. One level of mostly below grade parking, with 40 stalls, will be accessed from Cloverdale.

GGLO estimates the total project size at 213,700 square feet.

Final permits haven’t yet been issued, but appear to be near. No start date or budget have been announced. The city’s Office of Housing last year announced $14.3 million in funding for the project, which is listed with a nominal value of $52 million.

This past summer, almost directly opposite Rainier Beach Station, Mt. Baker Housing paid $5.5 million for a roughly 1.2-acre development site at 4215 S. Trenton St. No new plans have been filed yet for an anticipated 236-unit project.

Brian Miller can be reached by email at or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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